The Jamaican Government, on August 21, signed four agreements with the People’s Republic of China worth millions of dollars, as Prime Minster, the Most Hon. Portia Simpson Miller continues her official trip to that country.
Chief among them is an agreement with the China Exim Bank for a preferential loan for the Major Infrastructure Development Project (MIDP).
The others are Letters of Agreement on economic and technical co-operation between both governments; Letters of exchange on the construction of infant schools by the Government of China for Jamaica; and Letters of exchange on the feasibility study, ‘Teaching Building of the Confucius Institute’, by the Government of China for Jamaica.
The agreements were signed on behalf of the Jamaican Government by Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital, Beijing, minutes after a meeting between Mrs. Simpson Miller and her delegation and the President of the People’s Republic of China, His Excellency Xi Jinping.
Under the MIDP, several hundred kilometres of roadway will be rehabilitated; bridges and retaining walls will be constructed or rehabilitatedas well as the completion of sub-projects started under the Jamaica Development Infrastructure Programme (JDIP). The project is slated to provide employment for thousands of Jamaicans.
In the meantime, both countries signed an agreement with a view to further developing friendly relations and economic and technical co-operation between the two countries.
Under this agreement, the Chinese government will provide grant aid in the amount of RMBY 100,000,000 or approximately US$16 million. This will be used for projects to be mutually agreed on through consultations between the two countries.
“Detailed accounting procedures for the disbursement of funds concerning the implementation of the agreement shall be settled between the Accountant General’s Department of the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Jamaica and the China Development Bank,” the agreement states, adding that it shall remain
in force until both governments have fulfilled all their obligations stipulated in the agreement.
For another agreement, the Chinese government has agreed to dispatch a technical group to Jamaica for a feasibility study on the project – ‘Teaching Building of the Confucius Institute’ – on the Mona Campus of the University of the West Indies. If this is feasible, a specific supplementary agreement will be signed between both governments.
“The cost, in the amount of RMBY500,000 for implementation of the mentioned feasibility, shall be disbursed from the grant aid stipulated in the Agreement on Economic Co-operation between the Government of China and the Government of Jamaica signed on February 1, 2005,” the agreement states.
“The Government of China shall designate an institution to issue a bill, in quadruplets, to settle accounts through the China Development Bank Corporation and the Accountant General’s Department of the Ministry of Finance and Planning of Jamaica,” it adds.
The Prime Minister arrived in the People’s Republic of China on August 20 for a five-day official visit.
Mrs. Simpson Miller is accompanied on the trip by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. A.J. Nicholson; Minister of Water, Land, Environment, and Climate Change, Hon. Robert Pickersgill; Permanent Secretary, Office of the Prime Minister, Onika Miller; Special Envoy and Chief Advisor to the Prime Minister, Dr. the Hon. Carlton Davis; and members of her security detail.
The Prime Minister and her delegation are scheduled to meet with the leadership of important state institutions such as the China Export-Import Bank and the China Development Bank, as well as major firms currently doing business in Jamaica and those with strong investor interest.
She is also slated to have discussions on development challenges associated with climate change and global warming and, in particular, those faced by Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in implementing necessary climate adaptation mechanisms and recovering from the significant damage caused by natural disasters.
The Prime Minister will participate in discussions regarding the role of the Group of 77 (G7) nations and China in the effective operation of the United Nations (UN) and multilateral systems to ensure that the voice and representation of emerging and developing countries are enhanced in the global political and economic frameworks.
A small private sector delegation has also accompanied the Prime Minister to explore trade and investment opportunities with officials and business interests in China. They will attend a business forum on Friday, August 23.